This has potential to be a controversial take, but here we go. The NY Islanders, or more specifically, Lou Lamoriello, decided in the summer of 2022 that the 2021-22 season was an anomoly and the Islanders suffered at the hands of a Covid and injury ridden year. Heading into September, the Islanders went mostly unchanged as Lamoriello was ready to run it back (again) in the 2022-23 season having only made one impact acquisition (at the time) when he acquired Alexander Romanov at the 2022 NHL Draft. As the season went on, some of his low-key signing's panned out in a big way and he even had a solid trade deadline. Like it or not, Lamoriello did plenty to try and help the Islanders take the next step.
*Read our previously published player report cards:
Sebastian Aho | Josh Bailey | Mathew Barzal | Samuel Bolduc | Casey Cizikas | Cal Clutterbuck |Noah Dobson | Pierre Engvall | Hudson Fasching | Simon Holmstrom | Bo Horvat | Ross Johnston |Anders Lee | Matt Martin | Scott Mayfield | Brock Nelson | J.G. Pageau | Kyle Palmieri | Zach Parise | Alexander Romanov | Ryan Pulock | Ilya Sorokin | Semyon Varlamov | Parker Wotherspoon
NY Islanders 2022-23 report card: Lou Lamoriello
The truth about acquiring Romanov for the 13th overall pick is that you hope to draft a player that will turn out to be as effective at the NHL level as Romanov has come to be. Essentially, the Islanders were just able to fast-forward the timeline of the draft pick by trading it and being able to insert the (now) 23-year-old defenseman directly. Romanov provided speed and physicality, a necessary addition for the blue and orange, and one that panned out nicely by the season's end.
Lamoriello also signed Hudson Fasching to a deal that didn't turn anyone's attention to it. At least, not until Fasching burst onto the scene and started contributing in a significant, yet unexpected way. Perhaps Lamoriello saw something in the forward, maybe he threw a dart blindfolded and hit. Regardless, it was an effective signing.
When the Islanders clearly needed help, Lamoriello went out and got it. Traditionally, Lamoriello makes his move at the deadline year after year. His history shows he's acquired impact players such as J.G. Pageau and Kyle Palmieri. And although those two are excellent players, Lamoriellio had never made a trade of the magnitude he did when he acquired Bo Horvat. Lamoriello shook up the roster when he traded a piece of what was supposed to be a core member in Anthony Beauvillier, along with top prospect Aatu Räty and the Islanders' 2023 first-round draft pick. Say what you will about Horvat's production, but Lamoriello acquired a player on pace for 52 goals at the time of the acquisition. Shortly after, Lamoriello extended Horvat to an eight-year deal and cemented a new core piece to the lineup with elite talent. Not to mention the Pierre Engvall acquisition for just a 2024 third-round pick that panned out quite well.
There's no denying Lamoriello did all he could this year to make the Islanders a contender. He filled holes in the summer, he made the major deadline acquisition, he extended said acquisition long-term, and he even hit home runs on a couple of players that weren't anticipated to contribute as well as they did. The only criticism Lamoriello should receive for his body of work in the 2022-23 season is that he should acted sooner on acquiring Horvat, and therefore, he gets a B+ on the season.